If Only


Today ‘s fraudster has a case of the “if only ‘s.” If only she hadn’t lied about her living situation, she wouldn’t be in trouble with the law, again. If only she hadn’t left a folder containing information about her fraudulent scheme in plain view, her partner wouldn’t have turned her in. If only she hadn’t been caught, she wouldn’t be serving time. (I imagine many fraudsters suffer from the same type of entitlement complex where they think the federal government should pay for their expenses.)

A woman, who received food stamps and Medicaid benefits totaling more than $8,000, got into trouble when the father of her children noticed a folder in his house containing paperwork indicating she was receiving welfare benefits. (She was reporting to welfare case workers that she was paying $800 of rent per month at a different address, but she was actually living rent free with the father of her children.)

The man reported the woman ‘s fraudulent acts to authorities and explained that he had been supporting her and her children for about eight years, stating that they resided with him, and not the address she had reported. (Obviously, she inaccurately reported her location because if she had been honest, she would not have qualified for government assistance.)

Well, that ‘s not all she failed to report. She left out that she also received income by working at a business that was owned and operated by the father of her children. And this is a doozy ,she failed to report she had two previous felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance. (Those omissions would have also rendered her ineligible to receive government assistance.)

The 40-year-old woman was sentenced for welfare fraud and must serve one year in prison to be followed by one year of probation. If only this woman had been honest about her situation, she wouldn’t be in the predicament she is in today. (If only there were more honest people like this woman ‘s partner, who recognize fraud when they see it, the world would be a better place.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Woman sentenced to prison for welfare fraud,” published by Journal & Courier on May 30, 2017.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. ‚Forty-year-old Heather Nicole Dispennett admitted last month she received food stamps and Medicaid benefits which she wasn’t entitled to, and on Friday, she received a one-year prison sentence for welfare fraud.

Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Steve Meyer sentenced Dispennett to one year in prison and one year on probation.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.